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Permanent RetainerPermanent retainers may sound like a mouthful, but they’re nothing compared to the mouthful you’ll be saving yourself from. Permanent retainers are an ideal choice for those seeking to keep their teeth in perfect alignment.

Not only do they prevent your teeth from shifting out of place, but they can also help maintain your beautiful smile and boost confidence. So if you’re considering getting a permanent retainer, here’s all you need to know!

What exactly is a retainer? A permanent retainer, also known as a “permanent teeth retainer,” is a device that you wear over your teeth to keep them in place. Permanent retainers are typically worn by adolescents and adults who have had dental work done on their teeth or jaw which has changed the way their bite works. Retainers can be customized for each individual using different materials (including metal, plastic, porcelain) depending on what the person’s needs are.

While getting dental braces is a very effective way to straighten misaligned teeth, the results often do not last a lifetime and the teeth can easily shift out of alignment. This is where dental retainers come in. When you visit your dental clinic to have your braces removed, your orthodontist will definitely want you to wear a retainer to stabilize the dental correction. You’ll likely find that you have a choice between wearing a removable retainer or a permanent retainer. Here, we take a look at the latter.

In this article, we will answer some common questions about permanent retainers that our readers may have as well as provide product reviews with helpful tips!

So what is a permanent retainer and how does it work?

Teeth RetainersA permanent retainer does what dental retainers do – preventing orthodontically treated teeth from moving back to their old, misaligned positions. But unlike the removable or ‘temporary’ retainer, a permanent retainer is designed to stay on the teeth guarding against shifting 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This device typically consists of a metal band (stainless steel) that runs across the back of your teeth. This wire is permanently attached behind the front teeth, allowing it to keep your teeth from moving right back to their original, incorrect positions.

Here are some basic facts about permanent retainers.

  • A permanent retainer is usually made from stainless steel/metal alloy flexible wire.
  • A permanent retainer is designed to fit on – and attach to – the back of the lower and upper front teeth.
  • The wire is installed in such a way that it doesn’t show when you smile and even your friends won’t realize you’re wearing one.
  • Your orthodontist attaches a permanent retainer to the back of the lower 6 front teeth and the back of the upper 4 front teeth immediately after you’ve had your braces removed.
  • The permanent retainer device stays on your teeth indefinitely unless your dentist suggests removing it for oral hygiene or health reasons.

However, it’s worth noting that despite its name, you may not be required to wear your permanent retainer forever. That’s right. Your orthodontist may recommend taking your permanent retainer off and replacing it with a removable type retainer at some point. This is usually done for a number of reasons, chief among them being to improve oral health. The other reasons why you may need permanent retainer removal include: damage to the retainer appliance, infections in the mouth, tartar buildup and pain in the mouth.

Actually, many dentists use a combination of the two retainers as part of the orthodontic treatment. They usually place a permanent retainer that must be worn 24/7 for at least six months, then switch to a removable retainer that is worn only at night when going to sleep. Alternatively, they may recommend patients to use both types of retainers concurrently. When this happens, the patient will leave the dental office with removable retainers to wear in conjunction with the permanent retainer. Most dentists believe that because permanent retainers only help ‘retain’ the front teeth, wearing removable retainers in conjunction with a permanent retainer offers the best protection against relapse for the entire set of teeth.

But, of course, you should expect to wear some form of dental retainer for pretty much the rest of your life. Your retainer – permanent or removable – ensures that your newly treated teeth won’t move back into their old misaligned positions. If you’ve worn a permanent retainer for a long time, you may be able to switch to a removable device that you can wear only a few nights per week. But if you stop wearing one totally, you could see your teeth move back to their original crooked positions.

Your orthodontist should be able to advise you on how long you’ll need to wear your permanent retainer.

Read: Denture Adhesive

What are the pros and cons of a permanent retainer?

Like any other orthodontic appliance, the permanent retainer comes with both advantages and disadvantages. And naturally you need to weigh both of them before choosing a retainer for your treatment.


  • First of all, a permanent retainer tends to do a better job of retaining teeth compared to other types of retainers, specifically the removable type retainer. It is because of this that dentists recommend this type of retainer in cases involving severe misalignment issues that have a higher risk of relapse after orthodontic treatment.
  • It offers a better long-term solution for straightening teeth, particularly given the fact that teeth begin to shift naturally as we age.
  • A permanent retainer offers the convenience of not having to wear and remove the device now and then, since it’s attached permanently.
  • Because the retainer is permanently fused to the teeth, you don’t have to worry about losing it or forgetting to put it in.
  • It combines nicely with other orthodontic appliances and products, such as night guards or sleep apnea devices.
  • Because the permanent retainer is fused to the back of the teeth, it remains hidden from view and won’t be visible from the outside. So it won’t show when you smile and no one will realize that you’re a retainer.


  • A permanent retainer stays attached to your teeth throughout the entire treatment. This can be a huge inconvenience for some.A removable retainer tends to be more patient-friendly in that it is worn at night and taken off in the morning, and you can also take it off when before meals or when you want to floss and brush your teeth.
  • Because permanent retainers remain fused onto the front teeth at all times, they make it a little more difficult to floss and brush teeth. Of course, your dentist will teach you how to do these oral hygiene tasks and give you the tools to complete them quickly and efficiently; but you’ll still find that it takes more time and effort to go through your daily oral care routine when wearing your permanent retainer.
  • Permanent retainers support the front teeth and, therefore, don’t provide much protection from relapse for the back teeth.
  • The metal wire may cause irritation in the mouth, but this problem can be rectified through the use of dental wax.


Are you a good candidate for a permanent retainer?

A permanent retainer may be a good option for you if:

– You’re being treated for severe malocclusions

– You want to ‘get it and forget it ‘; or you don’t want to keep bothering about wearing and removing a retainer

– You’re forgetful and fear losing or misplacing your retainer

– You really want the best teeth straightening results possible

What about maintaining permanent retainer?

Permanent retainers come with the increased risk of plaque buildup, cavities and gum disease since the wire is permanently attached to the teeth and you cannot remove it to floss and brush. Because of this, you should make sure you take the time to do teeth cleaning properly.

Here’s how you do it:- Start with an anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque mouth rinse.

  • Start with an anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque mouth rinse.
  • Make sure you do tongue scraping before you floss and brush in the morning.
  • Brush – Consider using a combination of electric brush and ionic brush to clean your teeth thoroughly.
  • Floss – Use a threader floss or Super Floss to get into all those small spaces between ‘retained’ teeth. Lastly, don’t forget to ask your dentist about the best daily dental care routine for you.

How are permanent retainers put in?

There are a few different ways that you can have your permanent retainer put in. The easiest way is to take an impression of the teeth and then send it off for fabrication (this will be sent back as a mold). A temporary retainer may also be given while waiting on the custom-made piece, which typically takes about two weeks. There are many options available when it comes to how long you want your permanent retainers, but most people get them made specifically for their individual needs so they’re sure to fit right!

How long permanent retainer should be worn?

Retainers are typically worn every night for the rest of your life to keep teeth in place. It’s good to take them out when eating, brushing and flossing if you don’t want food getting stuck in there! The frequency will vary depending on what kind of retainer you have as well as how quickly it needs replaced.

How are permanent retainers removed?

There are a few different ways that you can have your permanent retainer removed. The easiest way is to take an impression of the teeth and then send it off for fabrication (this will be sent back as a mold). A temporary retainer may also be given while waiting on the custom-made piece, which typically takes about two weeks. There are many options available when it comes to how long you want your permanent retainers, but most people get them made specifically for their individual needs so they’re sure to fit right!

What should I do after getting my retainer?

After getting put in your new retainer, make sure not to miss any meals or snacks because this might cause damage from missed chewing time. Also remember to brush and floss your teeth after every meal! Permanent retainers are a great way to keep everything in place for years, so make sure you take care of them as best you can.

What is the benefit of permanent retainer?

There are many benefits to wearing a permanent retainer that our readers may be interested in. The main one would be keeping their teeth from moving out of position due to dental work done on the mouth that changes how they chew food and makes it hard for them to eat properly. A loose tooth could also cause problems like pain or infection later on down the line if not taken care of right away. It’s important to get a permanent retainer put in quickly after getting adjusted because this will ensure they stay put and are protected!

What about the cost of permanent retainers?

When it comes to costs, there are many options available. Some people have their retainer made custom for their mouth while others opt for a temporary one that can be taken out when eating or brushing teeth. The main thing is making sure you take care of your new retainer in order to keep them from breaking down too quickly which could lead to more expensive replacements like porcelain or metal (stic). There’s no telling how much something will cost until we know what kind they’ll need as well as if they want a full-mouth device or just coverage on certain areas around the mouth. For instance, some people may only need help stabilizing their upper teeth while others may want a full-mouth device for stabilization.

How long permanent retainer last?

This is a tough question, as it really depends on the individual and how well they take care of their retainer. For someone who eats like there’s no tomorrow or doesn’t brush after meals, it may only last six months to one year while for those who are careful about what they eat with good brushing habits, permanent retainers can last five years to ten! It all comes down to what you do in your daily routine but just remember that maintenance will be needed along the way so don’t forget!

What should I consider when buying my next retainer?

There are many things people should think about before buying their new teeth-retaining device. What material does it come in? How long will it need replaced every time? What’s the cost of replacing it down the line and how often will that need to happen as you age? All these questions are important when choosing what retainer is right for your needs. It’s not just about comfort or looks, but rather making sure they’ll stay in place no matter what and can be used with other dental work done like braces instead of being an obstacle.

What should I do if my retainer breaks while eating or brushing teeth?

If your permanent retainer has broken during a meal or brush session, make sure not to panic- sometimes there may still be some leftover on the mouthpiece which can help seal any holes until you get home and put on a new one! If this doesn’t work, there’s always temporary retainer to buy and use until your permanent one is fixed.

How do permanent retainers break?

There are many things that can cause a retainer to break if not properly cared for. For instance, using too much toothpaste or brushing with too much pressure might lead to the device breaking down and needing replaced sooner than anticipated. When it comes to eating, make sure you take care of your new teeth-retaining device by chewing slowly while paying close attention not to eat anything hard like nuts or chips because this could damage them as well. There’s no telling how long they’ll last until we know what kind someone needs so do plenty research before getting one put in!

How to remove permanent retainer glue at home?

The best way to remove permanent retainer glue from your teeth is with dental floss. This can help cut through any residual adhesive that may be left on the mouthpiece which could cause problems later on down the line if not taken care of right away. It’s important to get a permanent retainer put in quickly after getting adjusted because this will ensure they stay put and are protected!

How to clean permanent retainer?

Retainers should never come into contact with water! If you’re wearing your retainers at night time and it’s been awhile since you last took them off, then just rinse out any food that has gotten stuck in between your teeth before putting everything back on as usual. Our expert dentist recommends using mouthwash or warm saltwater to cleanse one’s teeth if they are not already doing so regularly because both methods have shown great results in reducing cavities (which is crucial when dealing with tooth shifting). You can also add some baking soda to increase the effectiveness of homemade cleaning solutions by buffing your retainers with a toothbrush. Please, read my full article.

Do I need to wear a retainer all the time for it to work properly?

NO! You will most likely only be wearing your retainer at night. This is because nighttime habits, such as sleeping on one’s back and not eating before sleep, can keep teeth in place without having to use a retainer. However, if you do experience tooth shifting during the day or have an unpredictable lifestyle that includes snacking or drinking lots of soda (soda drinks contain high amounts of sugar), then we recommend wearing your retainer during both daytime and evening hours. If this is still not enough for you, there are other more long-term solutions available if needed such as jaw surgery or braces.

What kind of material should I get?

Would a metal retainer work well for me? The type of material that you choose to wear depends on what your needs are and the severity of tooth shifting. If it’s just mild tooth movement, then we recommend using plastic with sturdy wire attachments. For more severe cases where teeth have been chipped, cut into, or moved out of their original position due to accident or dental procedure, our expert dentist suggests either getting an acrylic (plastic) retainer which can be customized in different colors and shapes according to one’s aesthetic desires OR choosing porcelain as a more natural option if needed!

Is there any discomfort associated with wearing my permanent retainers?

Permanent retainers may feel uncomfortable for the first few days, but this discomfort will be gone after a while.

How do I know if the retainer is fitting correctly?

Comfort levels vary from person to person so it’s best to talk this over with your dentist at your next checkup!

Permanent retainer vs removable retainer?

Permanent retainers are used to provide long-term care for teeth that have been shifted. They can be removed at any time but it’s recommended you only do so when brushing your teeth because they’re more prone to breaking if exposed to high temperatures or moisture from the mouth and fingers alike! There is no need for a temporary retainer as this will not give the same level of protection

Permanent retainer vs temporary retainer?

A temporary retainer is used to provide short-term care for teeth that have been shifted. They are only worn during the day and taken out before going to bed, which means they can’t be worn at night when it’s most important! Because of this, a person would need two types of retainers: one permanent retainer for nighttime use and one temporary retainer for daytime use.

Permanent retainer vs braces?

Permanent retainers are a less invasive option than braces because they do not attach to teeth. However, it is important that one regularly wear their retainer for the best results! Braces use metal brackets and wires to fix shifted teeth in place.

Permanent retainer vs hawley retainers?

Hawley retainers are a less invasive option than braces because they do not attach to teeth. However, it is important that one regularly wear their retainer for the best results! Hawleys use wires and elastics to fix shifted teeth in place.

Permanent retainer vs jaw surgery?

Jaw surgeries can be expensive and require time off from work/school, so permanent retainers are often a more practical alternative if you’re looking for something long-term (but ofcourse there’s always exceptions!). For missing or broken front teeth where shifting has been caused by accidents or dental procedures such as tooth extraction, our expert dentist recommends using an acrylic (plastic) retainer which can be personalized according to your aesthetic desires

Permanent retainer vs removable retainers?

If you’re looking for the cheapest option, then a removable retainer could be your best bet! It is important to note that these types of retainers are not long-term solutions and should only be used until the teeth have stopped shifting. If they’ve been in place for awhile, it’s recommended to remove them before going to bed because prolonged use can lead to mouth sores or gum recession from constant pressure on one side of the mouth. Permanent retainers require more upkeep but provide an overall better level of care since they don’t need as much adjusting throughout time

How to Floss with a Permanent Retainer?

Start with the loop above the retainer, and then pull down until you feel the floss “snap” under the retainer behind your teeth. Letting go of the short end of the floss, pull the long end all the way through until it is out of the space between the teeth.

Can teeth move with permanent retainer?

You may be given only one type, or you may receive a removable retainer for your top teeth and a permanent one for your bottom teeth. A retainer keeps your teeth from moving after they’ve been straightened with braces. It can take at least four to six months for the new position of your teeth to become permanent.

Are permanent retainers good?

Although removable retainers can be very effective, they don’t tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especially if they are not used as directed. Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” … One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing

How long should a permanent retainer last?

On average, bonded retainers last around 3 years for upper teeth and 5 years for lower teeth. Removable retainers can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, for products such as Essix, and 5 to 10 years for Hawley products. Retainers are just a reality of life for millions of us

Does a permanent retainer hurt?

So, despite it being called “permanent,” it is possible you may have to replace it at some point. And lastly, a permanent retainer can just become uncomfortable. It can rub against your tongue and be annoying. The biggest downside of a permanent retainer is the potential for bacteria and plaque buildup

Can you chew gum with a permanent retainer?

While wearing the retainersdo not chew gum. It sticks to the plastic.

Can you get an MRI with permanent retainer?

The short answer is that you can get an MRI if you are wearing a retainer, because the dental wire is not likely to be ferromagnetic so it is MRI safe. However, it still can cause distortions (artifacts) in imaging quality

Are there alternative options to a permanent retainer

As someone who knows quite a bit about dental work, I can tell you that there are definitely alternative options to a permanent retainer. While a permanent retainer may be the most common option, there are other options that you should consider before making a decision.

One alternative option to a permanent retainer is a clear retainer. Clear retainers are an invisible tray that fits over your teeth and helps keep them in place. They are less noticeable than traditional retainer options and can be removed if needed. Another option is a removable Hawley retainer, which is a wire and acrylic retainer that can be adjusted if needed.

Additionally, a lingual retainer is another alternative option. Similar to the permanent retainer, the lingual retainer is a wire that is bonded to the backside of your teeth, but it is not permanent. Lingual retainers are more expensive than other options and can be difficult to clean, but they do provide a more discreet option.

Overall, it is important to speak with your doctor about the various options available to you. Each patient has unique needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to dental work. By discussing your options with your doctor, you can make an informed decision that will be best for your individual situation.